Anguilla

Close your eyes and imagine untouched white sand beaches stretching for miles, the smell of island spices seasoning snapper and lobsters sizzling on outdoor grills, and the glowing red sun kissing pristine turquoise waters during a golden sunset, and you are on Anguilla.

A mere 16-mile-long stretch of land straddling the Caribbean Sea on its western shores and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, Anguilla is one of the last remaining Caribbean Islands still flying the British flag as a British overseas territory. However, the island has a rich history that predates European settlement by thousands of years. Artifacts discovered around the island reveal that the first inhabitants made the roughly 600-mile journey across the Caribbean Sea from South America in dugout canoes. While the island was always on the radar during European exploration of the Caribbean, the poor soil conditions made it less attractive than its more fertile neighbors for producing sugarcane. It wasn’t until 1650 that British settlers began to occupy the island, claiming it for their home country and establishing sugar plantations with the help of enslaved Africans. History buffs can take the Anguilla Heritage Trail to uncover preserved artifacts and cultural relics dating from before European settlement. The trail’s 10 stops include sites like the Heritage collection Museum exhibiting excavated artifacts left behind by forgotten islanders, and Fountain Cavern National Park containing rock art from indigenous Tainos dating back to 300 AD.

Voted Travel + Leisure’s Best Island in the Caribbean, Anguilla is one of the Caribbean’s hidden gems. With award-winning beaches hugging its shores on either coast, you’ll always be within arms reach of paradise. Visit Shoal Bay, a two-mile long beach with pink-tinted fine sands sloping gently into the aquamarine blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean, where local dolphins greet you from the water’s surface. For better views of the vibrant underwater world, sail the famous Junior’s Glass Bottom Boat from Island Harbour or snorkel offshore at Prickly Pear Island. See why Anguilla is considered one of the Caribbean’s culinary capitals with an island fish fry during the August Carnival celebration, or explore one of its 100+ restaurants serving everything from local specialties to internationally-inspired fine dining cuisines.

With direct flights to the island only operating since 2021, tourists are only starting to discover Anguilla. It won’t be long before it becomes widely known that Anguilla is the epitome of relaxation and pleasure.


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